A Look Back to Forge Ahead


It sure has been a whirlwind kind of year, and with only a few weeks left in 2018, we asked a few local breweries to reflect on the past 300-or-so days, as well as give us their thoughts on 2019. In year's past, we've done a voting competition and even shared our "Top Ten," but this year, we decided to give the mic to the brewers.Some gave us a lot of information, but the most profound answer came in the form of an article from VinePair, shared thanks to Jason Yester over at Trinity Brewing. In the article, the author dispels many of the craziness that has taken over the beer industry as of late—long lines for new beers, a culture so absorbed by Untappd that it only wants the newest and freshest. We whole-heartedly agree with the article—it's ok to drink the same beer twice. So, in 2019, if you find yourself reaching for a Howitzer Amber or a Laughing Lab, don't think twice. Enjoy the beer as you always would.

On to our questions!

1. What trends in the beer industry are you a fan of, and which ones are you not? What is the next trend in 2019 going to be?

2. What keeps you going each day?

3. Now that beer will be sold in grocery stores starting in 2019, how do you see that impacting your brewery?

4. Anything exciting happening in your neck of the woods in 2019 that you want to share or tease?

André Blyth, JAKs Brewing

1. I’m always appreciative of new and unique takes on beer styles. My favorite being the Brut IPA. I could crush those all day. The only beers I’m a little wary of are the kettle soured beers that get loads of unpasteurized fruit at packaging, those things are gonna explode and hurt someone.

"Anything we can do to make the world a better place [...] is a good thing."

The other trend I’m onboard with is the greater conversation concerning brewery culture - from an increased awareness of diversity to buyouts to labor. Anything we can do to make the world a better place and support the workers who keep this industry running is a good thing.In 2019 I think we’ll see a rise in niche brewing and breweries embracing specificity. In Colorado Springs, I imagine we’ll see one of the regional powerhouses look to the area for an expansion.2. Love of the craft and the never-ending pursuit of excellence. When craft beer fans talk about great beer in Colorado Springs, I want JAKs to be included in that conversation.3. I imagine that we won’t see much of an impact. We have no immediate plans for cans or bottles to distribute.4. Our biggest news is that we’re opening a new taproom at the corner of Marksheffel and Dublin sometime during the spring. Probably March. In addition to that we’re upgrading to a 10bbl brewhouse that we’re pretty excited about. Crowlers are coming soon too.The last thing I’d like that add is that if you haven’t been or its been a while since you’ve visited JAKs, both our brewhouse and taproom have been under new management for the last few months, and we’re getting better every day.

Chase Perry, Metric Brewing

1. I am personally a big fan of the hazy trend in beer, but also not a fan of it. When Hazy IPAs are brewed correctly they are downright amazing, but when done lazily I feel like I'm drinking fizzy yeast. I am personally looking forward to 2019. Hopefully Lagers get the love they deserve in the new year.

"When done lazily I feel like I'm drinking fizzy yeast"

2. LOL. Honestly, I love my job, but my wife is who keeps me going. If it was up to me I would probably have left brewing a long time ago for a quiet life on an island.3. Personally I don't anticipate much of an impact on my brewery. It seems the people coming in to Metric each day are not the same ones who are pushing for the availability in stores.4. Hopefully some expansion and extra tanks in the brewery. Lots of collabs and also getting the lab up and running. 2018 was a hell of a year with more peaks and valleys then I would like to remember. Cheers to 2019!

We visited Venetucci Farm to help prepare pumpkins for Bristol’s ultra-popular Pumpkin Ale.

Mike Bristol, Bristol Brewing

1. We don't really spend a lot of time thinking about trends, to tell you the truth. But one thing I'm excited about is people starting to appreciate classic lager styles more. Lagers are difficult to brew well, and it's nice to see craft brewers taking on the challenge.2. Seeing people enjoy what we do, and seeing the impact we can make on different levels. So of course we love making people happy when they're enjoying a beer, but it's also about the positive impact we can have on our community, our employees, and our neighborhood.

"It's a pretty dramatic change for our industry"

3. It's a pretty dramatic change for our industry in Colorado as a whole. We've had to make changes in our operations, most significantly, to our distribution model. It will also affect our product offerings and our packaging mix.4. We turn 25! We've got some interesting beers and events planned so that we can celebrate all year long.

Jeffrey Airman, Paradox Beer Company

1. Experimentation, pushing beyond style limitations to create new beers and flavor combinations. The trend towards variations on low bitterness, intense hop flavor with a dry, crisp finish is something I expect to continue to grow in 2019.2. Inspiration, Exploration, and Expression.3. We expect the retail landscape in Colorado to change as larger national liquor stores are coming into the state. Our new 16oz cans are a lower price point option design for quick turnaround and broader customer appeal.
"Give us any rule, we'll break it."

4. The continued growth of our foeder fermented mixed fermentation canned program, releases from our cocktail inspired bona-fide series, and limited spontaneous blends. Give us any rule, we'll break it.

So there it is! And here's our picks for our favorite moments, caught on camera, in 2018...see you next year! We're planning more video content for the podcast and other avenues, so stay tuned!